What is Meningitis

Meningitis is the word that is formed by joining two words, Meninga or menix and itis. Meninga is a Latin word and menix is a Greek word which means membrane. Itis is a Greek word which means pertaining to which means inflammation of. So the meningitis is a disease of the inflammation of the membrane. The membranes that cover brain and the spinal cord are known as meninges and this disease is the inflammation of meningis. It can be caused due to various infections like viral infection and bacterial infection. It can also be caused due to fungi, parasites and certain other organisms.

The type of meningitis can be confirmed only by the physician be conducting blood test or other such exams. Viral infection is the most common cause of meningitis. Viral infection can be caused due to mosquito-borne virus. This type of meningitis is not serious and does not cause any kind of complications to the patient. It heals on its own in few days without any serious effects. But if the infection is due to bacteria, then it can cause serious and severe complications to the patient. It is very rare but if it happens, it can result into serious effects. It can even cause permanent brain damage.

It can block the brain vessels resulting into a stroke which can be dangerous. It can be life threatening too. That is why, it needs immediate treatment. Bacterial infection can be caused due to Haemophilus influenzae type b, Neisseria meningitidis, and Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. Before starting the treatment of this disease, it is very important to know that type of the meningitis the patient is suffering from. Only then the doctor will be able to give the right treatment to the patient and will be able to help in curing the problem. It is very difficult to recognize this disease. The most common symptoms of meningitis are:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Rashes on the body etc.

These are some common symptoms which are mostly seen in a meningitis patient. Symptoms can vary individual to individual and also depends on the age of the patient. Meningitis can affect babies, older children, adults and elderly aged people too. Different aged people have different symptoms. You can perform a glass test to know whether the person is suffering from meningitis or not. Take a drinking glass and press it against the rash on the body. If the rash fades then that means it is not meningitis rash. But if it does not change the color or fades then that means it is a meningitis rash and you need to contact the doctor immediately before the condition gets worse. Doctor will provide you the treatment like oral medication, oxygen therapy, blood test, sedatives, antibiotic etc according to the age of the patient and the severity of the disease.